Why Is My Grass Seed Not Growing?

  in  The Garden
Many people sow grass seed in the hope that it will produce an outstanding lawn and maybe even give them the stripes they always dreamed of. However much of the time that doesn't happen or it takes longer than expected.

Here are a few reasons (and how to combat them) as to why your grass seed might not be growing the way it should.

Not preparing the soil properly

Success of a lawn begins way before the first seed is sowed. Many people think they can just sprinkle it on the ground and it will grow. However, the preparation of the soil is crucial.

Solution
The soil needs to be a minimum of 6 inches deep of top-quality soil with the right nutrients. You may also wish to rotovate it too and then flatten it down with a roller.

The ground isn't kept moist

It's easy to think you can just sprinkle away and then not think about it. This means many people don't do the mandatory watering every day while the germination process is taking place. That's if rain isn't doing the job.

Solution
For any seed to germinate, the ground needs kept moist for a minimum of 2 weeks after it�'s been sowed. It can be a bit of task to get the sprinkler out every day though.

If you feel you can't be bothered doing this, then simply do your sowing in Spring or Autumn as this is the time when you're likely to get more rainfall in the UK. Aim for a time when rain is forecast too

The birds are eating the seed

Birds love to eat anything edible off the floor. Your grass seed being a prime target for them. If they eat everything, the chances are that the result will be a "thin" lawn at best.

Solution
There are a number of solutions to keeping the birds off the soil during the germination period.

One way is to hang CDs across the area. So, as the birds are swooping down, they see the reflection of the cd and then retreat back up again.

Some people claim success using a scarecrow, while others suggest straw works well too

You didn't feed the soil with pre-seed fertiliser

Whether you're overseeding the lawn or growing from scratch, you should always use a pre seed fertiliser. suggests it to be one of the most popular lawn feeds on the market. Many forget about feeding the soil but it can give a huge boost to the success rate and speed of growth.

Solution
Purchase a premium fertiliser with high amounts of phosphate in it. You don't want anything with too much nitrogen at this point. Apply the fertiliser at approximately 30g per m2.

The soil is below 7 degrees Celsius

If you're trying to do the job too early in the Spring or too late in the Autumn, there's a very good chance that it's too cold for germination to take place. Especially in North UK.

That means there's also a chance that the grass will die off before it establishes itself enough.

Solution
It's crucial to avoid frosty times of year, because frost significantly reduces the temperature of the soil. You could start your new lawn in the Summer to guarantee avoiding this but you will need to make sure you water the soil a few times every day.

The seed burnt out in the sun

As much as the soil can be too cold, it can also be too warm. This is related to not watering enough during the hotter months too. Most companies will say you can sow any time from March to September. But in reality sometimes the height of the Summer is a little too hot.

Solution
Try to avoid starting in the height of the Summer. However, If you do want to sow in the Summer, make sure you keep the area moist for a whole 2 weeks afterwards.

You haven't waited long enough

So when all is said and done and you feel like you've followed the above guidelines to the tee.

But you still don't see your grass growing like you wish it would. One key thing to remember is that it does take some time for the lawn to thicken up. Lawns regerminate themselves over time.

So, if in the first 2 weeks it wasn't quite what you had imagined, give just a little more time. I promise it will thicken up as you go through the seasons.


Article kindly provided by relentlessgardener.co.uk